There are many Tenth Doctor Who stories that people tend to agree are excellent; Blink, Midnight, The Girl In The Fireplace, The Waters Of Mars and Turn Left to name just a few. And then there are the stories that often get forgotten about or panned by people who can shout very loudly on the internet. "Everybody hates Love And Monsters" they cry. Well I don't, I like it a lot. Along with these other 4 David Tennant stories that I think you should all give a second chance.
Starting at the end of the era with a two part episode that had me on the edge of my seat and close to tears. It's Russell T Davis at his very best, a huge breathtaking blockbuster of a story, spread over 2 and a quarter hours and featuring the long awaited return of the Time Lords. Bernard Cribbins wonderful Wilfred Mott finally becomes an official companion. Is that the Doctor's Mother? Wow, yes it could be. Plus Timothy Dalton, Timothy Bloomin' Dalton. There is just so much to love about the story it seems a shame that people focus on a couple of segments, and then rate the whole show accordingly.
The Master Race often gets mentioned as one of the low points of the era, along with John Simm's over the top portrayal. I don't get that, I think Simm did a brilliant job portraying the Master. He is supposed to be insane, and Simm captured that perfectly.
Everybody seemed to hate the 'goodbyes', I remember logging in to Facebook after the second part aired and couldn't believe all the negative comments, but I thought they were very moving and perfectly summed up the era of the Tenth Doctor. Could you imagine any other Doctor doing that? I just can't see Jon Pertwee checking in on Jo Grant and Liz Shaw and it having the same emotion. The only negative I can say is if they had gone on any longer I would've been blubbering like a baby.
Love And Monsters
There are three Tennant Doctor-lite stories, Blink, Turn Left and Love And Monsters. The first two are regarded as classics by nearly all Who fans, I personally regard Love And Monsters as a classic episode too.
The idea of Love And Monsters is absolute genius, to focus on the other people affected by this man. The people that he came into contact with briefly and now their lives will never be the same. How do they carry on with a normal humdrum existence? How does a parent cope when their child is traveling in time and space? Why wouldn't they meet and share their experiences and stories? and find comfort with one another?
The whole cast is very strong. I could never get enough of Camille Coduri's Jackie Tyler, and I always though that Marc Warren might've made a good Doctor himself. Again, people focus on the Abzorbaloff, but it's actually a pretty decent prosthetic suit, we've seen much worse 'monsters' in Doctor Who over the years.
To watch Doctor Who we have to suspend belief, literally anything could happen and it often does. If we can believe there is a man traveling in a police box throughout time and space, then why do we have so much trouble accepting a bizarre creature like the Abzorbaloff?
Suspend belief, dig out Love And Monsters and enjoy it for the very clever science fiction show that it is. It's a solid piece of television, and it features the Electric Light Orchestra. What more could you want?
Planet of the Dead
I love Planet Of The Dead. Although technically it's the second of the special episodes I really count it as the first, after all we were always going to get The Next Doctor as a Christmas episode if there was a series in 2009 or not. It's so great seeing the iconic London Bus on the desert planet of San Helios. It rivals the Tardis as the most 'British' thing to have visited an alien world.
Michelle Ryan did a great job as Lady Christina and I've always been a fan of Lee Evans (he's another one I think could make a good Doctor). The Tritovore were a wonderful throwback to 1950s B-movies, and the stingray like creatures made for a really menacing alien race.
Russell T. Davies and Gareth Roberts did a great job of producing a spectacular 200th Doctor Who story (note the number of the bus) which is so full of joyous fun, the kind of which we hadn't seen in Doctor Who for a while, and it was perfectly timed because after the Doctor was given his warning by Carmen, things would get very dark again.
The Unicorn And The Wasp
I've always enjoyed when the Doctor meets 'real' people, so the concept of him and Donna meeting Agatha Christie in 1926 and embarking on a sleuthing adventure was always going to appeal to me. As it turned out I think this might just be my own personal highlight of all the 10/Donna stories, I don't think the on screen chemistry of David Tennant and Catherine Tate was ever better than in this episode. It's an absolute delight to watch them, yet I know many people who would happily skip this episode.
Felicity Kendall and Fenella Woolgar both shine as Lady Eddison and Agatha Christie respectively, and Christopher Benjamin, who previously played Henry Gordon Jagoin The Talons of Weng-Chiang, made a welcome return to the show as Colonel Hugh Curbishly.
If by any chance you've not seen The Unicorn And The Wasp than, like any good mystery, it's better to go in cold and not know any plot lines. I will say it's another lighter adventure, it's very humorous and breezy - which works very well in this case - and there's a really solid murder mystery with a great twist included.
I've seen it mentioned often by many Who fans, "the day they announce there's an animated series of Doctor Who is the day I stop being a Doctor Who fan". Well that's just ridiculous. Dreamland is a triumph, a real genuine Doctor Who story that if it wasn't animated would likely rank very high on every Who fans list of favourite episodes.
A companion-less 10th Doctor arrives in Roswell in the 1950s, eventually he's taken to Area 51 aka Dreamland. Along with David Tennant you can hear the voices of Georgia Moffett, David Warner and Bernice Summerfield herself, Lisa Bowerman.
It's written by Phil 'Waters Of Mars' Ford, and I think it looks amazing. It doesn't rival the big Pixar/Dreamworks style of CGI, but for a small screen budget they did a brilliant job. I honestly think a series of well written CGI adventures like this would be the solution to give us all more Doctor Who throughout the year.
Well that's my five under appreciated Doctor Who stories from the Tenth Doctor era, I'd like to know if you agree with me, or if you like any of these stories too?